Addiction is the repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the harm that it causes, and not being able to stop the activity or substance use even when you want to.
Addiction isn’t just related to illicit content like drugs, alcohol or gambling it goes far beyond what is commonly known. Addiction can manifest in any kind of behaviour, object, substance or activity.
Because addiction affects the brain’s executive function, individuals who develop an addiction may not be aware that their behaviour is causing problems for themselves or others, and may not believe it even when others point it out to them.
There are many types of addictions. While much is known of the illegal forms of addiction, such as illicit drug use, there are some less known addictions that can cause significant emotional upset and harm to an individual and their families. Some of these are:
Work – workaholics are obsessed with their work to the exclusion of other activities and sometimes to the point of physical exhaustion. Often for people with this addiction relationships, family and social life will be affected.
Technology – This has become one of the most common addictions of 2018. Whether it is gaming, mobile phones of social media, having an addiction to technology is a leading cause of relationship issues, decline in academic performance and social isolation.
Shopping – People who experience a shopping addiction are often unable to control the urge or impulse to buy, resulting in them acquiring items that they don’t really need or want. This can often result in hiding the objects and feelings of guilt and shame.
Can you spot an addiction?
Someone experiencing addiction will often:
- Repeat a behaviour even when it interferes with their life.
- Lose interest in other things which once made them feel happy.
- Display changes in eating or sleeping habits and weight.
- Feel sick or shaky when trying to stop the behaviour.
- Demonstrate mood changes and feelings of being accused when asked about the addiction.
Having an addiction can start out with something harmless and then lead to losing control. Left untreated, addictive behviours can destroy not only the life of the person addicted, but also the lives of others around them. Addicts usually cannot stop doing the thing that they are addicted to without help and support. Addictions are treatable.
Contact us today to speak with one of our friendly Psychologists at Life Resolutions Ringwood on 1300 668 256 or visit our website for more information